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Siv Jakobsen and friends / October 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 7th July 2017 at 9:00 am
 

Header photo by Jørgen Nordby

Norwegian indie folk artist Siv Jakobsen has announced a list of live dates in the UK this October, following the release of her debut LP ‘The Nordic Mellow’, due out on the 25th of August. For this very special round of shows, Jakobsen will be touring with up-and-coming Bristol songstress Fenne Lily and TGTF alumni Paul Thomas Saunders and Sivu. (Longtime readers might recall that Saunders and Sivu have co-headlined a tour before, back in 2014.)

Tickets for the following dates are available now. Take a listen to Jakobsen’s latest single ‘Shallow Digger’, as well as recent tracks from the other artists featured on the docket, just below the tour date listing. Fenne Lily and Siv Jakobsen are both new to the pages of TGTF, but you can look back on our previous coverage of Paul Thomas Saunders right here and our coverage of Sivu back here.

Wednesday 4th October 2017 – Shrewsbury Henry Tudor House
Thursday 5th October 2017 – Bristol Lantern
Friday 6th October 2017 – Manchester Band on the Wall
Saturday 7th October 2017 – Liverpool Buyers Club
Sunday 8th October 2017 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 10th October 2017 – Glasgow CCA
Wednesday 11th October 2017 – Newcastle Cluny 2
Thursday 12th October 2017 – London Cecil Sharp House

 

Video of the Moment #2357: Sivu

 
By on Tuesday, 9th May 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Sivu. The Cambridgeshire singer/songwriter known to his mum as James Page is getting ready to release the follow-up to 2014 debut ‘Something on High’. ‘Sweet Sweet Silent’, produced by Charlie Andrew, will drop mid-summer. A few weeks ago, he released to the wild the first taster track from the upcoming LP, ‘Lonesome’. The single now has its own promo video by Matthew Robins, featuring a little stop-animation dude in a spaceship you can’t help but fall in love with. I mean, really, where else could be lonelier than being in outer space all by yourself, am I right? Except…

The song itself from Sivu is interesting, in that it’s got its moments of fragile beauty reminiscent of ‘Something on High’, but it’s also got surprising moments of levity with “ya ya ya” vocals in the background that swirl around in tandem with the cinematic notes that join the verses. Watch the video for ‘Lonesome’ below. ‘Sweet Sweet Silent’ will be available on the 7th of July on Square Leg Records. To enjoy the rest of our archive here at TGTF on Sivu, follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI23taMGJSU[/youtube]

 

Sivu / February and March 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 5th January 2015 at 9:00 am
 

The marvelous Sivu has lined up a massive UK tour for the end of February into the end of March 2015. Tickets are available now.

He closed out the last quarter of 2014 with the release of his debut album ‘Something on High’ (#5 on my top albums of 2014) and high-profile support slots with Nick Mulvey and Bombay Bicycle Club. All past TGTF coverage on Sivu can be found here.

Wednesday 25th February 2015 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 26th February 2015 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Friday 27th February 2015 – Bristol Birdcage
Saturday 28th February 2015 – Exeter Phoenix
Wednesday 4th March 2015 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Thursday 5th March 2015 – St. Agnes Taphouse (free show)
Friday 6th March 2015 – Truro Hub (free show)
Saturday 7th March 2015 – Perranporth Watering Hole (free show)
Sunday 8th March 2015 – Falmouth Gylly Beach Cafe (free show)
Wednesday 11th March 2015 – Leeds Oporto
Thursday 12th March 2015 – Sheffield Bungalows and Bears (free show)
Friday 13th March 2015 – Oxford Bullingdon
Saturday 14th March 2015 – Nottingham Bodega
Wednesday 18th March 2015 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Thursday 19th March 2015 – Glasgow Broadcast
Friday 20th March 2015 – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Saturday 21st March 2015 – Gateshead Central
Tuesday 24th March 2015 – London St. Johns Bethnal Green
Thursday 26th March 2015 – Bournemouth 60 Million Postcards (free show)
Friday 27th March 2015 – Ramsgate Music Hall
Saturday 28th March 2015 – Brighton Hope

 

Top Albums of 2014: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Monday, 22nd December 2014 at 11:00 am
 

When it comes time for a music editor to review the year’s releases, it’s something that should not be done lightly. With great power comes great responsibility. This will be my fifth top albums of the year at the helm of TGTF, so this year I feel this even more so. Without a doubt, 2014 was politically tumultuous, not only literally with the Scottish referendum and all that’s happening with Obama vs. Congress and Cameron vs. Parliament, but also on the music front, where we saw Apple buy Dr. Dre’s Beats Music and enable U2 to give iTunes users a free album they never asked for, Taylor Swift withdrawing all of her songs from Spotify, and online streaming outpacing and resoundingly beating download purchases.

I’ve got no industry crystal ball in front of me, but it’s clear 2015 will bring additional challenges for the music business. Companies will need to look to and develop new models and new sources of revenue, and at the same time, artists and bands will need to retool and reinvent themselves to not only endure and survive but thrive in these exciting, challenging times. With that, I turn your attention to the albums I deemed the most worthy of your purchase from this year, as I tell you about the artists who made them.

1. Teleman‘Breakfast’ (Moshi Moshi); Teleman on TGTF
It’s the most important meal of the day, isn’t it? So it makes uncannily appropriate sense to start with Teleman’s debut album. A lot has been made about the differences in sound from three out of four of their members’ previous band – the now-defunct Pete and the Pirates – and yes, they do sound different. There are buzzy synth lines by the Pirates’ former drummer Jonny Sanders, and overall, the sound is more pop than the rock of their previous band. The live experience, as I thankfully finally got the chance to witness in New York City in September, is a whole lot of fun too.

But the most important pieces have stayed constant: the band’s excellent songwriting and singer Tommy Sanders’ voice, going from angelic (opening track ‘Cristina’) to borderline vitriolic (‘Mainline’), depressive (’23 Floors Down’) to frantic joy (‘Skeleton Dance’), and everywhere in between. The jewel of the crown of ‘Breakfast’ is, I suppose somewhat ironically, the most difficult day and time of the week, ‘Monday Morning’, where Tommy Sanders shows yearning alternating with ire as he expresses regret about a relationship that could have been so much more…but wasn’t.

The album’s brilliance as a whole is that no two songs sound the same, yet they’re all about transport and the action of moving or leaving, and in a way that I’ve never been touched by before. I’ve laughed to this album, I’ve cried to this album, I’ve contemplated the meaning of life to this album. It hasn’t left my car since I got it for review in May, which says a lot. Magnificent, Teleman. Truly magnificent.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnxzY5p8d4g[/youtube]

2. Sir Sly‘You Haunt Me’ (Interscope); Sir Sly on TGTF
I’m sure you readers have noticed I generally go out of my way to avoid mainstream artists who by some “miracle” just jump to success off the back of a major label. American indie rock / r&b trio Sir Sly have been around for a bit, but I didn’t pay much attention to them until I queued up ‘Where I’m Going’ as part of my research on them a couple of weeks prior for their co-headline slot on a North American tour with Wolf Gang. (Read my review of their show in Washington DC in September here.) I was hooked immediately by the sultriness of singer Landon Jacobs’ vocals, paired with a electronic pop / funk background that’s catchy as all hell yet mysterious.

Their debut album for Interscope finally dropped in mid-September, and it’s a pop masterpiece. Title track ‘You Haunt Me’ shows the band at their poppiest, with a bouncy, infectious rhythm guaranteed to make you pogo, while the synths gleam and glitter with the best of them. Yes, there is a commercial thread running through this album – a remix of ‘Gold’ was used to great effect to sell Cadillacs to young people in an American telly advert this year – but dark, buzzy beats on ‘Ghost’, rattling percussion on ‘Nowhere/Bloodlines pt. 1’ and the oozy smoothness of stretched synths accompanied with the painful vocal delivery in ‘Too Far Gone’ prove Sir Sly are no one-trick pony. In a world where pop, r&b and electronic struggle to coexist peacefully on the charts, this is one band that proves it can be done, and done very well. Expect them to be the next massive pop/r&b act.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0E5aWv0YdA[/youtube]

3. The Crookes‘Soapbox’ (Fierce Panda); The Crookes on TGTF
And now, for something with a bit harder edge. Which sounds a bit strange coming from the happy, peppy, back to basics New Pop of Sheffield’s Crookes, doesn’t it? From the starting discordant guitar note of first single ‘Play Dumb’, they made it evident to the world that they wanted to be and should be taken seriously, which totally makes sense on an album called ‘Soapbox’. Prior to its release, it was a big year for the band, as they explained to me in an interview after SXSW 2014, having signed to American label Modern Outsider in 2013 and headlining their night that week in Austin at Parish Underground.

While the foursome didn’t entirely reinvent themselves, they really ratcheted up the quality of the songwriting on their third album. ‘Echolalia’ and ‘Howl’ exhibit a sadness you feel deeper through their words and music in such a different way than from their previous releases. ‘While You’re Fragile’ and ‘Outsiders’ confirm lyricist Daniel Hopewell hasn’t strayed far from his usual direction; at the same time the band haven’t lost their pop sensibility altogether for which they have become favourites with their fans. Hopewell said in an interview for One Week One Band’s Crookes feature earlier this month, “I think I’m more honest now. And hopefully my writing is improving so I can express simplistic, honest ideas in a more beautiful way”. Taken together with how they’ve changed musically from 2012’s ‘Hold Fast’, ‘Soapbox’ seems to suggest there is plenty more room for the Crookes to grow, both in lyrical and musical artistry.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNgb4QVNvlM[/youtube]

4. The Lost Brothers‘New Songs of Dawn and Dust’ (Lojinx); The Lost Brothers on TGTF
When two people are destined to be musical partners, you can listen to a single song of theirs and on some subliminal level, you just know. I don’t want to make it sound like the songs contained within ‘New Songs of Dawn and Dust’ are basic; rather, it’s a true testament to the Liverpool-via-Ireland duo’s gifts to us – beautiful singing voices and incredible guitar dexterity – that they can make indie folk sound so effortless, yet so gorgeous.

This is the ultimate autumnal folk record, probably best listening to late at night. You can practically hear the fallen leaves crunch under your feet as you listen further through the effort. From the gentle simplicity of instrumental ‘Nocturnal Tune’, on through the heartbreak experienced by the actions of one ‘Derridae’, then to the anguish of a disillusioned fighter in ‘Soldier’s Song’, there is a lot of poignancy to feel here. But then you get to a track like the seemingly too happy (for them; I talked to Leech about this in a recent q&a) ‘Walking Blues’, and you know the sun will rise again. All in all, remarkably restrained beauty.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4QV5_GRec8[/youtube]

5. Sivu‘Something on High’ (Atlantic); Sivu on TGTF
After several singles and EPs scattered over the last year or so, James Page’s debut album was long awaited by me, especially after chatting with him at SXSW 2014 and seeing him live in Austin. It was a special privilege to be present for his LP’s launch party at Hackney Oslo in mid-October, bearing witness to quite possibly his first overzealous fan and stage crasher. So what is it about ‘Something on High’ that can cause such crazed devotion?

Page has separated himself from the other guitar-toting, may I say boring male singer/songwriters (for one, hello, entitled Ben Howard in Norwich) or ones who are trying for the r&b votes (like Hozier, whose popularity still makes me groan). How? There is beat, experimentation and strings in opening track ‘Feel Something’; earlier single ‘Can’t Stop Now’ is inspiration in the form of sunny pop. Yet the true genius of ‘Something on High’ is just how much this album will lead you to think, to truly contemplate one’s existence, something truly rare when it comes to pop albums. Page examines the keys to human existence (‘Miracle [Human Error]’), the desire to start over (‘Bodies’) and crushing self-defeat in the face of heartbreak (‘Sleep’) and in such a sensitive, yet stunning way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4JuxACUTOY[/youtube]

 

MP3(s) of the Day #862: Sivu

 
By on Thursday, 4th December 2014 at 10:00 am
 

Your Thursday just got better. Sivu‘s debut album ‘Something on High’, released in October, was a brilliant LP. (Don’t believe me? Read my review of it here.) While he’s on tour this month supporting Bombay Bicycle Club – whose own Jack Steadman remixed his single ‘Can’t Stop Now’, which you can listen to below – you can enjoy the five-track ‘Sivu’ EP for free by simply signing up for his mailing list on his official Web site. He’s a sweet guy, isn’t he?

 

Live Review: Sivu at London Oslo Hackney (‘Something on High’ album launch party) – 14th October 2014

 
By on Tuesday, 21st October 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

As you can imagine with me living in the States, I don’t have the opportunity too often to take advantage of London album launch party invitations. However, this past holiday of mine in the UK happily coincided with the week that Sivu’s fab debut album ‘Something on High’ was released on Atlantic Records just the day before, and timing worked perfectly for me to make the journey down to the big smoke from Liverpool to see him play at Oslo Hackney. (Read my review of the debut here; he’s currently on tour with Nick Mulvey and all the dated are listed here.)

For those of you familiar with London venues – of which there are many – the smaller ones that bands call with minimal adoration part of ‘the toilet circuit’ tend to be pretty grim. And smell of things that should not be mentioned by a lady. Oslo, located quite handily next to the Hackney Central Overground station, suffers no such problems, as it hasn’t been open all that long. As a music journo, it’s nice to go somewhere where I know if I drop my jumper on the floor, it won’t be all gross with god knows what when I pick it back up. (Unfortunately, this was not the case when a punter knocked into me on Saturday night at Manchester Soup Kitchen and my new Cloud Boat t-shirt – a white one – was an unfortunate victim of the venue’s grimy floor. Review of that show is forthcoming.)

As you will have read in my review of ‘Something on High’, my impression of Sivu’s music is that its alternative style has a unique way of relaying emotions and the oft poignancy of said feelings. So imagine my surprise when a completely bonkers – and surely heavily pissed – female super fan screamed and yelled her way through a set list that featured softer, more subdued numbers that the rest of us were trying to enjoy for their emotional quotient. At the encore, I can’t imagine James Page has had many fans this crazy at his shows; he tried to laugh it off, saying, “I didn’t know I was such a babe magnet!” Well James, if Hozier and your current tourmate Nick Mulvey are, maybe you are too. (I still don’t understand the ridiculous hype surrounding either and far prefer Sivu’s debut over Andrew’s.)

With its haunting vitriol, minor key tune ‘Love Lives in This House’ seemed like an odd choice to open a celebratory album launch night. However, things quickly picked up and the more upbeat previously released single ‘Bodies’ and LP starting point ‘Feel Something’. Sivu’s first-ever release ‘Better Man Than He’, most famous for its promo video filmed from within an MRI machine at St. Barts’ hospital in London, elicited a lovely crowd sing-along that made Page smile; he told it meant so much that we could share in the realisation of a dream of his from years ago.

Clearly the most fun song from the album, ‘Can’t Stop Now’, was just as fun live, providing punters an opportunity to shake a tail feather. ‘God Speaks in Tongues’, which does not appear on the new release but has been a firm favourite of Sivu’s long-time supporters, warmly received by this audience. However, for its ability to tug at the heartstrings, the most touching moment of the night had to go to the performance of ‘Sleep’ just prior to the encore, as Page alternated between his regular and falsetto voices in masterful delivery. I’m not sure how I managed not to cry, as its telling of suicide as the only option in the face of unrequited love is truly genuine, despite its conclusion painting an extreme image of desperation of a lover spurned. Love hurts. And Page has expertly grasped just how to express this beautifully in song.

After the cut: Sivu’s set list from the album launch.

Continue reading Live Review: Sivu at London Oslo Hackney (‘Something on High’ album launch party) – 14th October 2014

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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